Alexis Charles Henri Clérel de Tocqueville, Gunnar Myrdal, Governor Otto Kerner, Jr. What do they all have in common, besides being deceased and white men? Alexis de Tocqueville wrote Democracy in Americapublished in two volumes (1835 and 1840) in which he made observations about the impact of slavery on the newly-formed American society; Gunnar Myrdal ( a Swedish economist) wrote An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy (1944) on U.S. race relations; and Governor Otto Kerner, Jr. was chair of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorder established by President Lyndon Johnson after the 1967 race riots. The Kerner Commission (as the report was called) prophesized "... Our nation is moving towards two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal."

In their critical analysis (beginning in the mid-19th century) of the most germane social problem facing the United States of America at the time they were writing, all concluded that America's racial division was its Achilles heel. That is to say, as Black intellectual and global activist, W.E.B. Du Bois so eloquently stated in his seminal 1903 book, The Souls of Black Folk, "...the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line."
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Original Posting: 05 Nov 2012, Insight News